Two young women creating awareness of the ocean plastic problems during a 24-day expedition coping with severe weather and proving their stamina and endurance. The pair has raised more than £8000 (€9000) for Marine Conservation. Cat Friend (British) and Valerie Bisbal (Mallorcan) have become the first people to circumnavigate the Spanish Island of Mallorca…
Paddleboarding for ocean conservation. Two women, two paddles, one island, one dream.
Cat and Valerie met in 2017 when Cat was on holiday in mallorca. They talked about the idea of going around mallorca by sup and decided to create a plan. Once sponsors like starboard signed up it began to take shape. Now the two share more than just their love for the planet: “we could have not imagined the kind of bond this trip would create between us. We didn’t really know each other before and we don’t have the same language which did cause some communication errors along the way!”
People from all over the island got involved in the soller to soller expedition.”We had people driving out to us in boats to deliver food, water, foghorns, physiotherapy and all sorts! The support from the island was incredible and kept us going in those tough moments.” groups of school children were amongst some of the hundreds who welcomed the two back to soller on day 24. “it was amazing to see the numbers of people who followed our progress and donated to the cause”.
Cat friend (british) and valerie bisbal (mallorcan) became the first people in the world to circumnavigate the spanish island of mallorca (majorca) on stand up paddleboards (sups).
Starting on 1 june 2018 from port soller they paddled the 555km coastline (345 miles) in 24 days. The two slept on the beaches they landed on and cleaned them of plastic and litter documenting their finds. Their project raised global awareness of marine pollution and over €20,000 for local conservation projects in the balearic sea.
Catherine Friend took up paddle boarding in 2017 in search of a new challenge. Her background in sailing gave her a good start with knowledge of the oceans and a love of the outdoors. The adventure aspect of the project is what inspired Cat on such a journey; “mallorca is a big island and it’s largely cliff coastline without places to stop. When I found out that paddle-boarding around the whole island had never been done before I thought it would be pretty cool to try”. Cat has a real passion to be active in saving something you love. “if you’re doing something different or something that’s a bit mad people stop to ask why – it really gets people thinking about the health of our oceans”. Cat’s favorite piece of expedition equipment: the anchor.
Cat grew up on the Norfolk broads which is the home of some of the UK’s rarest wildlife. The small area makes up only 0.4% of the uk yet it is a haven for an incredible quarter of britain’s rarest species, including otters. This place is very special to Cat, where she loves to do SUP yoga